Price hikes of inorganic fertilisers: Organic to the rescue

Farmers across the country have had to deal with a very harsh dilemma, especially with the hike in prices of farming inputs.

Advertisement

One such product creating this limbo is fertiliser.

 This year alone, some say the prices of inorganic fertiliser have nearly tripled leaving them with very few options.

A major cause of the ongoing war in Europe between Russia and Ukraine is affecting key agricultural value chains.

Causes of price hikes

Consequently, prices of compost are at an all-time high. Experts earlier pointed to COVID-19 impacts and its accompanying volatility as the cause.

However, the onset of the war between the two countries further disrupted the value chain as Russia took drastic measures in response to international sanctions slapped at them.

Russia urged its fertiliser manufacturers to temporarily stop exports of their products amid shipping concerns and later announced more export restrictions to secure sufficient supply for domestic farmers.

This made global prices surge to record levels.

Impact

Geographically, this concern looked like nothing for Ghanaians to be worried about but this development, in addition to financial sanctions, and the instability in oil and gas prices are driving up cost leaving a ripple effect.

The World Bank has already indicated that global fertiliser prices had risen 30 per cent by early 2022 on the heels of an 80 per cent hike in 2021.

Crop farmers are feeling the pinch as shortages now threaten their livelihood.

An Ashaiman-based farmer, Joseph Wilson Kwashie, is also the secretary to a body of about 107 irrigation farmers in his locality.

This means, aside from his, Joseph sees the challenges of each farmer as they come to his desk for attention.

He explained that the past year had been a trying one for his fraternity.

“The shortage has affected us directly because normally you go to buy and you won’t get some.

“Meanwhile, the price too has tripled.

Last year, we bought a bag at around GH₵100 or GH₵120 whereas, at the moment, a bag is going for GH₵350.

Some are going for GH₵450,” he said.

Organic fertiliser

But there is a silver lining in the organic alternative.

 The development is nudging more farmers towards organic fertilisers.

For Joseph, organic fertilisers are cheaper, last longer in the soil and produce more yields without health complications.

Inorganic fertiliser depends on the use of natural gas and the mining of nutrients such as phosphorus that will be exhausted by the end of this century at the current pace of extraction.

This only predicts a gloomy outlook for the inorganic nutrients for which reason local farmers need to plan for the long term.

Asase Gyefo Organic Fertiliser, an organic fertiliser company, is one of those working towards ensuring that the high cost of inorganic fertiliser does not unnecessarily affect farming in the country.

Kelly Ampofo, a greenhouse farmer in Accra, said using the organic fertiliser had helped him “save expenses and cost”.

According to him, he put the organic fertiliser to the test by using just eight bags to ascertain the results compared to its inorganic counterparts.

Research

A research group of a researcher at the University of Ghana’s Department of Crop Science, Dr Naa Lamle Amissah, is currently looking at the bigger picture of how organic compost can improve food security in the future and considers the global crisis as a wake-up call.

“It is happening everywhere in the country.

I mean, there's the difficulty in getting fertilisers and over-dependence on inorganic fertilisers is what is resulting in all of this.

“So we definitely have to start looking at more sustainable ways of getting fertiliser or making sure that lands and our crops are fertilised,” he told journalists.

The horticulturist explained that if those alternatives were not explored, “the soil is going to suffer”.

Therefore, between a global grapple with agricultural supplies and a beckoning food crisis, organic fertilisers may just be the way to go.

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...

0
Shares